By Samantha Lund, Guest Columnist
College students — though some won’t admit to it — rely on their social media. In fact, social media fuels our perceptions of what our lives should look like.
Facebook updates and Instagram pictures instill these ideas. Buzzfeed countdowns set our priorities and opinions. I’m not proud to say it, but I do fall into this category of the ‘media-influenced.’ I also know that I’m not standing on this island alone.
With all this attention surrounding media there has been a backlash — FOMO. FOMO, or ‘Fear of Missing Out,’ is sweeping the nation as an excuse every sad college student can use to explain why they are always checking their phones.
It is real. “It is a type of anxiety, a sort of anticipatory regret” said psychologist Rebecca McGuire-Snieckus in an article from the magazine Psychologies on FOMO.
What psychologists want us to know is how to propel ourselves out of it and ‘save ourselves from the social media monster taking over our lives.’ To do that, they want us to shut off our phones and get away from social media.
Honestly, that’s crap.
FOMO has come out of the social media world we’ve developed and it does cause anxiety, but under no circumstances do we need to be saved from it. Instead, let’s use it to fuel our days and motivate us to one-up each other’s experiences.
FOMO works like this: you see your friends posting awesome stuff like their trip to Argentina or having drinks with the super hot guy you have Chemistry with, and you, sitting at home alone on a Thursday night, get sad because you want to be out with the hottie from Chem.
Psychologists say that the human mind is not equipped to handle this kind of constant stimulation without becoming depressed. Now let’s say you keep looking at these pictures for hours because it’s Thursday, and you have nothing to do. That’s when the hypothetical you gets sad.
Let me propose another idea. Show these psychologists who isn’t weak: us. Let’s take FOMO and use it. Let’s call it FOMotivation.
FOMotivation will be our generation standing up to fear and turning it into being awesome. Fear is a basis for human motivation. All animals learn quickly when fear is in the back of their minds. From now on, let’s use that fear to push us to go out and experience life.
Let’s play a game called ‘Beat that girl having coffee with my Hottie.’ For every status that makes you sad, or upset, go out and do something that you think is more awesome. Go do things that will make you happy and maybe take a few pictures and post them to your site — give the next Facebooker some FOMotivation.
I will now ask for one second to really make professors mad. Next time you’re in class, pull out your cell phone. Just pull it out. Just do it. Now, do it. FOMotivate yourself.
Maybe don’t take that advice, but if you are a progressive FOMotivational thinker, you can FOMotivate yourself to do anything. This is my call to arms. Arm yourself with your cell phone, FOMotivate yourself to do your homework even, FOMotivate yourself to listen to your lecture and be a good student or just FOMotivate yourself to stay awake during the second hour of the lecture on the Civil War.
Put a picture of a hot model studying as your background and FOMotivate yourself to study. In class was a stretch, but you can FOMotivate yourself anywhere, and I challenge you to find places where you wouldn’t normally think to be motivational and FOMotivate yourself there. FOMotivate yourself all over that place.
FOMotivation is meant for us, as social media users, to use as a tool in feeling good about ourselves and our media usage. We should not have to hide the fact that we love our cell phones, and that we absolutely can’t stop looking at Instagram pictures of puppies. Use FOMotivation to turn your browsing into inspiration and get up and go do something to FOMotivate someone else.
Warning, this will create a generation of completely amazing people.